Posts Tagged ‘Nook’

FIRST KISS=TUESDAY – (FREE) – MONTANA MAVERICK by Debra Salonen

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

FREE for a short time.
MAVERICK review FREE

 Montana Maverick

Sparks have always smoldered between Meg Zabrinski and Henry Firestone, but falling in love with Hank and his ready-made family would mean giving up her dream. Something lone wolf Meg isn’t ready to do until…well, you know. Sometimes one kiss can change everything.

Excerpt © Tule Publishing

She shoved the phone in her pocket and took a deep breath of air. “Smells like snow.”

Her exhale created a puffy white cloud that looped around her head like a halo. “Ken ordered me not to go looking for you last night,” she told him.

“That bastard.” Hank drove his fist into the palm of his other hand. The cracking sound made Rook spin about and race up the steps. He planted himself at Hank’s feet, eyeing Meg suspiciously. “How’d he justify that?”

“Said he didn’t want to have to recover my body, too.”

Rook’s growl matched Hank’s.

Hank leaned down and stroked the dog’s wide flat head. The snow and ice felt like shards of glass against his palm. Slowly, his tension eased. “Thank God you didn’t listen to him.”

She made a sound of pure disgust. “I stopped listening to Ken Morrison a long time ago.”

He could tell there was more to the story. Somewhere in the back of his mind, a memory raised its hand, but he ignored it. Anybody who traveled the backcountry probably had a run-in with SAR’s resident megalomaniac.

“How soon is the next wave supposed to hit?”

She shrugged then stepped closer and put out her hand for Rook to sniff. “A couple of hours. Why?”

“I left a bunch of stuff in Betsy. Dog food, for one. Tools. My log.”

She nodded. “You should take a video of the crash site. Maybe you’ll be able to see what brought her down.”

They were close enough to touch each other, and it took every ounce of willpower Hank had not to pull her into his arms and kiss her. “Wow,” he said, curling his icy fingers tight. “People have always called you brilliant. Now, I see why.”

Her sardonic grin made his heart rate speed up. Had she always been this beautiful? Yes. But business dress and heels were fake beauty. No makeup, messy hair dancing in the cold breeze, a blush of chafed skin from last night’s rescue made her the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen.

Their gazes met and held for one heartbeat…or ten. Something passed between them. A sigh. A hint of possibility. An open-ended question.

Meg was the first to look away. “Just being practical,” she said, taking a step back.

Her voice sounded different, throaty. She reached for the handle of the storm door. “I know Ken Morrison. He’ll try to turn this recovery into a photo op and pin the blame on you. I have a video camera you can use. I’ll make sure the battery is charged while you get ready.”

Video. The GoPro. “We need to finish opening gifts, first. The one I got JJ might be just the ticket.”

He followed her inside. “Are you sure you’re okay with all this? I mean, damn. I drop out of the sky into your nice peaceful life, and suddenly you’re stuck babysitting? That seems messed up.”

She hung her heavy jacket on a hook then spun around to open the cupboard above the washer and dryer. “Yeah, well, normally, I’d volunteer to hike back with you, but hauling all four kids up the mountain sounds like a really bad idea. So, you take this–” She pulled a small black camera-type case from a shelf and turned to face him. “And I’ll bake cookies with Annie and Bravo.”

She reached out and touched his upper arm. “Henry, nobody planned this. We have to roll with the situation. You should hurry.”

She turned to go but he stopped her. He couldn’t help himself. His life was upside down and in the toilet with vultures circling, but Meg made him feel as if everything was manageable. He pulled her into a hug.

“Thank you,” he said, his voice thick with emotion.

She stiffened at first, but gradually hugged him back. “You’re welcome.”

He had no idea how long they stood there. Meg in her pink and gray camoflage-print pajamas, him in sweats and a pair of men’s slippers he’d found in the guest room closet. They were virtual strangers, yet they fit together like they’d done this a million times over the years.

When she lifted her chin to look at him, he kissed her. He couldn’t not.

Her lips were sweet…and minty. The flavor surprised him at first but captivated him, too. He wanted more of this spicy wonderment. As sweet as it was, he wanted to find the flavor of Meg.

When he closed his eyes to take the kiss deeper, Meg stiffened a tiny bit. A badly needed reality check.

He let her go. “Peppermint.”

She nodded. “Annie shared her candy cane with me.”

“Annie’s the most generous soul I’ve ever known, next to her mother.” He stepped back. “I should go.”

“Yes. Quickly. You don’t want to get caught in another storm.”

“I’ll take JJ.”

“Good idea. His feet look about my size. He can use my snowshoes.”

She reached for the doorknob but paused. “What was that kiss for?”

“You…impress me. Most people would be overwhelmed by this situation. Four kids. A virtual stranger. You take charge and get things done. I respect the hell out of that.”

“Oh. Okay.” She slowly turned the knob. “But, for the record, you’re not a stranger. I feel like we have twenty years of history between us. Not easy history, but I always felt like we held each other in mutual respect. Didn’t you?”

“Yes. Definitely. And if I’d known you tasted like candy canes, I wouldn’t have waited twenty years to kiss you.”

 ~~~

FREE FOR A SHORT TIME ONLY! 

Your kind shares are most appreciated. Especially if you’re a reader–or know a reader–who enjoys older heroes and heroines. 

Amazon

iTunes

KOBO

BN NOOK

Google Play

Smashwords

BOOKS2READ

And, did you know you can read more about Henry and Meg’s journey in MONTANA MIRACLE? It’s true. Don’ t you love connected series?)

Happy reading,

Deb

 

FIRST KISS=TUESDAY: MONTANA COWBOY (FREE) by Debra Salonen

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

FREE 1 WEEK ONLY

 Montana COWBOY

Austen Zabrinski looks the part —

He’s got the ranch, the boots, the hat and even a few head of cattle, but everybody in Marietta, Montana, knows the former golden boy of Marietta High is a wealthy politician, not a cowboy. And even though that nasty scandal in Helena might have knocked him down a notch or two in the polls, what kind of a fool would trade access to the halls of power in Helena and a Harvard law degree for a ranch in western Montana? Possibly one whose new neighbor, Serena James–the woman the guys at Grey’s Saloon call “…the Red Hot Llama Mama”–makes him start to think about what he wants out of life, instead of what’s expected of him.

Serena James knows trouble when it hops her fence–

Moving to Montana and deleting her blog seemed like the perfect solution to her online stalker problem. Serena’s ready for a fresh start, but when her escrow on her ranch falls through, she has to scramble to find an immediate but temporary safe haven to rent for her herd of 50 alpacas, two llamas and one giant dog. Serena’s barely moved in when Austen Zabrinski–the man her landlord called “my absentee ranch owner brother who lives and works in Helena”–hops the fence in need of a lift. Even at first glance, Serena can tell he’s nobody cowboy, but who’s to say that isn’t a good thing? A little tryst with her gorgeous, sexy, here-today-gone-to-Helena-tomorrow neighbor might be the perfect welcome to Montana.


Excerpt © Tule Publishing

What’s his story?

Since they’d practically had sex–in her mind–she decided to ask.

Once he was seated with his safety belt snug across his flat belly, she turned the key in the ignition and put the truck in gear.

“So, fill me in. You own a ranch your brother called a tax write-off. You’ve as much as admitted you’re nobody’s cowboy. You wear three-hundred-dollar jeans. I don’t see a wedding ring. Your nose is sunburned. So I take that to mean you don’t have a wife or live-in girlfriend to remind you to put on sunscreen.”

He let out a gruff cough. “Very observant. The jeans are two years old.”

“But look brand new.”

“I don’t–didn’t–come to the ranch very often in the past.”

She waited.

“No wife. Never married. My last…friend-with-benefits wanted more than I’m in a position to give at the moment. I’m not sure we’re still friends. But I’m positive the benefits have been canceled.”

She’d always been a sucker for smart men with a sense of humor. The leftover dewy feeling in her crotch–and the fact she was a stranger in a strange land–made her bold. “So, if someone new to the area was interested in that sort of position–friends-with-benefits-no-strings-attached–how would one apply? Online? Or in person?”

He tossed back his head and gave a deep, masculine laugh that sent a stream of shivers down her spine, pooling conveniently in her already primed lady parts. Her hands tightened on the steering wheel.

Since they’d reached the end of her driveway and had no traffic behind her, she threw the shifter into park and turned to face him.

Before she could offer any slightly embarrassed disclaimer for such an obvious come on, he released the latch on his safety belt and moved closer.

“In person. I go with my gut. Usually one kiss will do. Either there’s chemistry or there’s not.”

“Chemistry. Crap. My least favorite subject in school. But I do like kissing.”

She leaned in, too.

#

Austen could have come up with a dozen–make that a trillion–reasons not to kiss this beautiful stranger. But, for all his reputed logic and claims he was a rule maker, not a rule breaker, he was lonely. And…as much as it killed him to admit the fact, he’d had reached a point where he was unsure of what to do next. Him. Rudderless. Now, living in the moment seemed like the only rational choice he had.

Besides…she offered. It wouldn’t be neighborly to turn her down. Right?

He caught her lips, which were softer than he’d imagined. A perfect match to his. Her eyes remained opened…for their initial contact, then her lids lowered in a sultry, utterly into it way that made him give a low, unplanned growl. What was it about that moment of surrender that brought out the beast in him?

When her perfect lips parted to invite him in, he closed his eyes, too. She tasted good. Mint gum? Maybe just leftover toothpaste. But there was sweetness, as well. A hint of honey. And he wanted more.

While his mouth plundered, his hands moved down her back to pull her closer.

“Um, oh…no. Seatbelt,” she murmured.

He pulled back and looked down. “Oh. Duh.”

He stabbed the release button so she could slip free of it.

They stalled…for half a second before she grinned and plastered herself against him. “Um. You’re a good kisser. Very good. But I want you to be sure. No doubts.”

She wasn’t aggressive, just methodical. As if she were hitting all the bullet points in a textbook called Rules of Kissing. Austen could have stopped her at any point and said, “You’re hired.” But a part of him couldn’t wait to be taken to school.

She nibbled and teased. Her tongue engaged his in a clever, nonverbal debate. A first for him. Kissing had always been a mere step on the road to the big show. With Serena, a stranger, the playful exploration was fun.

What would sex be like with her?

Would? Hell, no. Will. What will sex with Serena be like?

He wrapped his arms around her possessively. He had to find out. Now. Right now.

Honk. Honk.

 🙂

 ~~~

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Happy reading,

Deb

montana-cowboy-free

FIRST KISS=TUESDAY – (FREE) – MONTANA MAVERICK by Debra Salonen

Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

FREE for a short time.
MAVERICK review FREE

 Montana Maverick

Sparks have always smoldered between Meg Zabrinski and Henry Firestone, but falling in love with Hank and his ready-made family would mean giving up her dream. Something lone wolf Meg isn’t ready to do until…well, you know. Sometimes one kiss can change everything.

Excerpt © Tule Publishing

She shoved the phone in her pocket and took a deep breath of air. “Smells like snow.”

Her exhale created a puffy white cloud that looped around her head like a halo. “Ken ordered me not to go looking for you last night,” she told him.

“That bastard.” Hank drove his fist into the palm of his other hand. The cracking sound made Rook spin about and race up the steps. He planted himself at Hank’s feet, eyeing Meg suspiciously. “How’d he justify that?”

“Said he didn’t want to have to recover my body, too.”

Rook’s growl matched Hank’s.

Hank leaned down and stroked the dog’s wide flat head. The snow and ice felt like shards of glass against his palm. Slowly, his tension eased. “Thank God you didn’t listen to him.”

She made a sound of pure disgust. “I stopped listening to Ken Morrison a long time ago.”

He could tell there was more to the story. Somewhere in the back of his mind, a memory raised its hand, but he ignored it. Anybody who traveled the backcountry probably had a run-in with SAR’s resident megalomaniac.

“How soon is the next wave supposed to hit?”

She shrugged then stepped closer and put out her hand for Rook to sniff. “A couple of hours. Why?”

“I left a bunch of stuff in Betsy. Dog food, for one. Tools. My log.”

She nodded. “You should take a video of the crash site. Maybe you’ll be able to see what brought her down.”

They were close enough to touch each other, and it took every ounce of willpower Hank had not to pull her into his arms and kiss her. “Wow,” he said, curling his icy fingers tight. “People have always called you brilliant. Now, I see why.”

Her sardonic grin made his heart rate speed up. Had she always been this beautiful? Yes. But business dress and heels were fake beauty. No makeup, messy hair dancing in the cold breeze, a blush of chafed skin from last night’s rescue made her the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen.

Their gazes met and held for one heartbeat…or ten. Something passed between them. A sigh. A hint of possibility. An open-ended question.

Meg was the first to look away. “Just being practical,” she said, taking a step back.

Her voice sounded different, throaty. She reached for the handle of the storm door. “I know Ken Morrison. He’ll try to turn this recovery into a photo op and pin the blame on you. I have a video camera you can use. I’ll make sure the battery is charged while you get ready.”

Video. The GoPro. “We need to finish opening gifts, first. The one I got JJ might be just the ticket.”

He followed her inside. “Are you sure you’re okay with all this? I mean, damn. I drop out of the sky into your nice peaceful life, and suddenly you’re stuck babysitting? That seems messed up.”

She hung her heavy jacket on a hook then spun around to open the cupboard above the washer and dryer. “Yeah, well, normally, I’d volunteer to hike back with you, but hauling all four kids up the mountain sounds like a really bad idea. So, you take this–” She pulled a small black camera-type case from a shelf and turned to face him. “And I’ll bake cookies with Annie and Bravo.”

She reached out and touched his upper arm. “Henry, nobody planned this. We have to roll with the situation. You should hurry.”

She turned to go but he stopped her. He couldn’t help himself. His life was upside down and in the toilet with vultures circling, but Meg made him feel as if everything was manageable. He pulled her into a hug.

“Thank you,” he said, his voice thick with emotion.

She stiffened at first, but gradually hugged him back. “You’re welcome.”

He had no idea how long they stood there. Meg in her pink and gray camoflage-print pajamas, him in sweats and a pair of men’s slippers he’d found in the guest room closet. They were virtual strangers, yet they fit together like they’d done this a million times over the years.

When she lifted her chin to look at him, he kissed her. He couldn’t not.

Her lips were sweet…and minty. The flavor surprised him at first but captivated him, too. He wanted more of this spicy wonderment. As sweet as it was, he wanted to find the flavor of Meg.

When he closed his eyes to take the kiss deeper, Meg stiffened a tiny bit. A badly needed reality check.

He let her go. “Peppermint.”

She nodded. “Annie shared her candy cane with me.”

“Annie’s the most generous soul I’ve ever known, next to her mother.” He stepped back. “I should go.”

“Yes. Quickly. You don’t want to get caught in another storm.”

“I’ll take JJ.”

“Good idea. His feet look about my size. He can use my snowshoes.”

She reached for the doorknob but paused. “What was that kiss for?”

“You…impress me. Most people would be overwhelmed by this situation. Four kids. A virtual stranger. You take charge and get things done. I respect the hell out of that.”

“Oh. Okay.” She slowly turned the knob. “But, for the record, you’re not a stranger. I feel like we have twenty years of history between us. Not easy history, but I always felt like we held each other in mutual respect. Didn’t you?”

“Yes. Definitely. And if I’d known you tasted like candy canes, I wouldn’t have waited twenty years to kiss you.”

 ~~~

FREE FOR A SHORT TIME ONLY! 

Your kind shares are most appreciated. Especially if you’re a reader–or know a reader–who enjoys older heroes and heroines. 

Amazon

iTunes

KOBO

BN NOOK

Google Play

Smashwords

BOOKS2READ

And, did you know you can read more about Henry and Meg’s journey in MONTANA MIRACLE? It’s true. Don’ t you love connected series?)

Happy reading,

Deb

 

FIRST KISS=TUESDAY from COP ON HER DOORSTEP by Karen Docter

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

Cop Doorstep

Please welcome my guest today Karen Docter.  This wonderfully supportive author has some great stories to offer. I hope you’ll check out her website (link below) after you’ve read this dynamite 1ST KISS from COP ON HER DOORSTEP.

In the six years since her husband was killed by S.W.A.T., Carrie Padilla has spent long hours at work, rebuilding a life for herself and her son. The little time she has at home is spent keeping her eight-year-old son out of trouble, but he is all too eager to try to be the man in the house. When a handsome cop shows up on her doorstep, her errant son in tow, Carrie’s heart stutters. The sexy Italian cop sets off all kinds of bells in her system, and she knows there’s only one thing she can do to save what is left of her family, her husband’s memory, and her heart…avoid her new neighbor at all costs.


Jake and Carrie return from their first date…

“We’re home,” he said, pulling into his driveway.

Dragged from her reverie, she watched him walk around to assist her out of the car. With his large hand cupped around her elbow, he strode across the street. She had to take two steps to his one and, in no time, they came to a stop outside her front door.

Jeez. What was the rush? All of a sudden, Jake had become a stranger. Under the glowing porch light, his eyes looked calm enough—unreadable, in fact—but somehow, she sensed an edginess in his stiff stance.

“Do you have your keys?”

She handed them over and, within seconds, the front door was open and Jake was again standing two feet away.

His hasty retreat had the oddest effect on her. While she should be happy he didn’t seem to expect the requisite goodnight kiss of a real date, she only felt rejected. It was unnerving to know the woman inside her was still willing to court emotional chances.

Remember what happened the last time you jumped off that particular cliff.

The mental reminder was unwelcome, but it moved her to action. “Good night, Jake.” She leaned up to brush a kiss against his jaw.

It was a mistake, of course. The stream of electricity that arced from his skin to her lips caught her completely unprepared. It jolted sluggish nerve endings to life and randomly short-circuited what remained of her brain cells. Her legs unsteady, she searched his face.

It was surprisingly blank. Except for his eyes. They were no longer calm. Far from it. They were now dark and turbulent and fixed on her with hot intensity.

Only a fool played with fire, but she couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if she walked into the flames. Would they warm her or burn her to a crisp? The only way to know was to kiss him again.

Did she dare? How could she not? This was their one and only date, wasn’t it? She’d never get another chance.

“Good night, Carr—“

Her lips cut off Jake’s words and, for an instant, the heavenly feel of his mouth melding with hers was enough to quench her curiosity. His heat thawed her insides, filled the cold, empty spaces in her heart. It raced to keep up with the electrical impulses zipping through her body.

When she realized their lips were their sole point of contact even though she stood on her tiptoes to reach his mouth, she swayed into his body. “Jake?”

Carrie’s husky plea against his mouth, her taste, the feel of her yielding curves burrowing into his hard length…Jake couldn’t hold out against the relentless assault on his fractured senses. He’d wanted her to take the next step. She had and, damn his clamoring libido, he craved more.

Lowering his head, he took what he needed. His arms surrounded her, lifting her into his body until they meshed from chest to thigh. Her lips parted on a gasp of surprise, of acceptance. She wriggled against him. He groaned his approval.

His tongue thrust past the edges of her teeth, probing deeply. Without preliminary, without hesitation. He plundered her sweetness as he blindly pushed into the house, carrying her with him. He didn’t stop moving until they bumped into one of the entry walls.

Caught between two equally unyielding surfaces, Carrie moaned and dropped her purse to the floor. He kicked it aside and tossed the ring of keys that bit into his left hand after it. Reluctant to drag himself away from her drugging kisses, he sucked air into his starved lungs. “I didn’t mean, we shouldn’t, ah, hell.”

Recapturing her lips, he eased back so she could slide down his body. His hands gentled, trailed caresses along her spine beneath her jacket until they came to rest on her backside. With a low, tortured sound, he ground his erection intimately into her softness to alert her to his tenuous hold. “Carrie, honey,” he groaned at last, “tell me to stop.”

“Mmm.” Carrie responded to the rumble of his deep voice with an instinctive, feminine moan. Stop this? It had been too long since a man held her, made her feel so alive. So desirable and, oh, so desperately needy. Never had she encountered such a burning need to get near someone.

To alleviate the problem, she dragged her hands from his thick hair and worked her way down until she discovered a gap in his jacket. She dove inside where taut muscles rippled against her palms. The soft feel of only one thin layer of cotton between her fingertips and his naked skin set off tremors deep in her belly. Moving forward, she touched—

Something cold.

Something hard.

As if stung, she jerked both hands out of Jake’s jacket away from the holster tucked high against his body. “You’re wearing a gun?”

He trailed kisses along her jaw. “I always wear one,” he said, the words distant, unfocused, against her ear.

She tilted her head to grant him better access to the tender skin beneath her earlobe. Then harsh memories reverberated through her head like a sledgehammer, knocking down the walls of desire she’d been building like an ingenuous child with a new set of blocks.

What are you doing? Jake’s a cop. He wears a gun. Even on a date. The man’s a walking, talking risk, and your risk-taking days are long gone. She gulped for air to smother the panic.

“Carrie?”

Her brain barely functioned, but she knew she had to escape the question forming in his too sexy, hot chocolate eyes. She pushed him back several steps so he once again stood on her doorstep. “Good-bye, Jake,” she choked out before closing the door in his face.

Refusing to listen when he called her name, she locked the deadbolt with nerveless fingers and backed up until she knew she was far enough away to resist the temptation to reopen the door. To her house. Or to her heart.

 

Amazon: http://goo.gl/bUHNMu
B&N: http://goo.gl/6uoZTd
Kobo: https://goo.gl/fd92aB
All Romance Books: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-coponherdoorstep-2014481-149.html
Goodreads: https://goo.gl/FkaNvZ
Website: www.karendocter.com
~~~~

ZOOM! How exciting is that?! Sounds like the perfect summer read to me!

Stay cool, my friends.

Deb

 

FIRST KISS=TUESDAY from Cherish Me, Cowboy by Alissa Callen & Kiss Me, Cowboy by Melissa McClone

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

1

Available for a limited time ONLY at  BN


 Last week I shared a snippet from my book, MONTANA COWGIRL. Today, you’ll be happy to see snippets from my co-authors, Melissa McClone and Alissa Callen. If you’re a NOOK reader, here’s your chance to grab three heart-warming stories for under a buck apiece! If you don’t have a Nook, you can still buy these books individually from the vendor of your choice (just not in a bundle). See below.

From CHERISH ME, COWBOY:

“Come on, who says I don’t ever have any fun?”

Payton’s eyes shone with such golden life, her smile contained such uninhibited joy, all Cordell could do was nod and follow. Getting wet was a small price to pay for stealing a few brief minutes with the cowgirl in a swirling and surreal world. When the clouds parted and the rain stopped, reality would return. He’d have a promise to keep and a city existence to return to.

Within seconds, he was saturated. Water seeped through his cotton T-shirt and ran down the back of his neck. But as cold as the water was, the feel of Patyon’s fingers entwined with his, heated his blood. Thunder boomed followed by an almost instantaneous lightning flash. The storm was almost directly overhead. Knowing the wind would steal his words, he tugged her toward the porch. Again, she shook her head. Baxter, his tail between his legs, fled to the safety of his dry kennel.

Thunder again roared. Cordell snagged Payton’s slender waist and slung her over his shoulder. He reached the porch just before a jagged bolt splintered the sky.

Chest heaving, he firmed his hold on the back of her knees as he readied himself to return her to the ground. Cool air brushed his lower back and stomach. Payton must have gripped the bottom of his T-shirt to balance herself and had pulled it midway up his torso. He carefully took her weight and lowered her to the porch floorboards. But as he did so her full breasts pressed against his chest and her bare skin slid against his. He bit back a groan. The wet friction between the cotton of his shirt and her tank top had caused her own shirt hem to ride upward. There was now nothing between their naked midriffs but the wet lick of water.

His hands moved to her waist to steady her as her feet touched the ground. Beneath the pads of his fingers, he could feel the jut of her hips and the ripple of goosebumps over her soft skin. He fought for control. She’d be mad at being slung over his shoulder like a sack of grain. It would be okay. She’d tell him off and step away before he did something they’d both regret.

She didn’t move.

The soundtrack of the storm’s fury dulled to a whisper.

Every breath she took pushed her chest closer to his. Every breath he took threatened to shatter his self-control. When had she laced her hands around his neck? Another three seconds, and he’d be finishing what they’d started in his parked truck.

He didn’t even make it to two.

His mouth covered hers. She tasted of rain and sweetness and smelt of summer and mountain wildflowers. As she stood on tip-toe to match his hunger, the sky could have caved in over him and he wouldn’t have cared.

As much as she took, he gave. And as much as he asked for, she granted.

Her hands unclasped from behind his neck and slid over his water-slicked abs and under his T-shirt. He shuddered, knowing he was exposed but powerless to hide how she moved him and what she made him feel.

“Payton,” he groaned as they came up for air. “I can’t hurt you. I can’t stay.”

“I know,” she said, before again fusing her mouth with his.

His hands found the neat curve of her butt and pulled her even closer. This time she was the one who spoke as they drew apart to breathe.

“Please, tell me you’re feeling.”

“Oh, I’m feeling all right,” he growled as he plundered the delicate line of her soft throat.

“Good, because if you’re feeling, as per our talk the other night, that means I need to learn to accept help.” He’d never seen her eyes so luminous or heard her voice so breathless. She jumped and he caught her as she wrapped her slim legs around his waist. “And I think I’ll start by you helping me get out of these wet clothes.”

CherishMeCowboy-300dpi

From KISS ME, COWBOY:

The sun disappeared beneath the horizon. Darkness surrounded them. Zack didn’t care. Charlie didn’t seem to either.

A good thing. She was his lifeline, his way back to the civilian world, a place he felt disconnected from at the moment. He talked, and she held his hand. He cried, and she comforted him.

She wiped away his tears with her fingertips.

Embarrassed, he looked away.

“It’s okay,” she whispered.

No, it wasn’t, but if she could pretend, so could he.

Charlie sighed. “I wish…”

Her compassionate tone made Zack look up. The lantern glowed softly, giving off enough light so he could see her face.

She leaned forward, toward him. The connection between them intensified. He came closer, driven by an urge he shouldn’t be feeling. Not with Charlie.

Zack stared into blue eyes filled with empathy, wanted to know what she wished and was about to ask…

She kissed him.

A kiss so tender and sweet, Zack knew she’d been heaven-sent to get him through this night. He didn’t plan on kissing her back—that would be against his rule—but she wasn’t stopping.

 Why not kiss her? It was only one kiss…

McClone-Rodeo14-300dpi

Happy reading, my friends. My next BLACK HILLS RENDEZVOUS book will be featured next week…

Deb

 

FIRST KISS=TUESDAY from MOTHER’S DAY IN MONTANA by Debra Salonen

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

 

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Available for a limited time ONLY at  BN


 I’m so excited to be part of this great Mother’s Day Bundle from Tule Publishing.  If you–or MOM–is a NOOK reader, here’s your chance to grab three heart-warming stories for under a buck apiece!

I’m a big fan of forgiveness and second chances. Most people would give Paul and Bailey ZERO chance of making up for past hurts and heartbreak, but, sometimes, love can beat the odds.

From MONTANA COWGIRL:

She opened the door and carefully lowered her good foot to the ground. The ache in her ankle was back, but she’d be damned if she’d play the cripple in front of Paul.

“I can take one of those,” she said, meeting him at the tailgate of the truck.

He pulled the bigger of the two out first, setting it on the sidewalk. His muscles really were quite impressive, she realized. Wishing she had some reason to touch him.

The idea unnerved her. When he suggested she let him make two trips, she didn’t argue. She needed some distance, a little down time. Right now.

“Do you have the key?” Paul called out as he dashed up the ramp, the first of her giant suitcases in tow.

“I don’t think Mom’s ever locked the door in my entire life.”

He tested the handle. Sure enough, it swung inward. He wrestled the ungainly, soft-sided suitcase across the threshold then dashed past her for its mate.

She’d barely stepped inside when her phone rang. Mom.

“Hi. We just got here.”

“Wonderful. I have more good news. Oscar’s doctor is letting him go home today. The discharge papers will probably take an hour or two, we’ll be there in time to have dinner together.”

Today?

“Great.”

“You should invite Paul to join us. To thank him for picking you up.”

“Really, Mom? Do you think that’s a good idea? Dad’s first night out of the hospital? He and I haven’t seen each other in a couple of years. Maybe we should keep it family for awhile.”

“Oh, of course. You’re right. What was I thinking? We’ll do something nice for Paul later on. I have to go. The nurse wants Oscar to shower before he leaves since we don’t have that kind of equipment at home yet. See you soon, honey. I’m so glad you’re here.”

A few seconds later, Paul lugged her other ridiculously over-weight bag across the threshold.

“We have rocks in Montana, Bailey. You didn’t have to bring your own from California.”

She tried to smile, but the erratic thudding of her heart interfered with normal reactions.

Paul cocked his head. “What’s up?”

She shoved her phone in her bag. “OC is being released today. They’ll be here soon.”

She took a step, planning to make some effort to appear the gracious hostess. Unfortunately, her ankle locked and she lunged off balance, grazing her hip on the side of her father’s worn leather recliner.

Paul pivoted as precisely as Daz “heeling” in the arena. He caught her elbow and stepped in to help her regain her balance.

Close enough to smell his cologne and see the tiny strips of facial hair his razor missed. Close enough to kiss the lips that looked more familiar than they should have.

What the hell was wrong with her? This man hated her, cursed her, and she dropped into his arms like some stupid damsel in distress?

No. Good grief, no.

~~~

WISHING EVERYONE A VERY HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!!

Deb

 

FIRST KISS=TUESDAY (from The Taming of the Bachelor by Jane Porter)

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

 

auth_JanePorterPlease welcome my friend and author extraordinaire, Jane Porter. You are sooo lucky today because she’s sharing a snippet from her brand new release, THE TAMING OF THE BACHELOR, a Taming of the Sheenans romance. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been waiting for Dillon’s story!!!

~~~~

Dillon Sheenan refuses to be tamed…

After three years running the family ranch, sexy thirty-year-old Dillon Sheenan has a one way plane ticket out of Montana. He’s eager to put small town life, with its emphasis on brides, babies, and families, behind him as he’s certainly not interested in being a dad, or even ready to settle down.

Beautiful single mom, Paige Joffe, juggles a lot, between running Main Street Diner and coping with her money-pit of a Victorian on Bramble Lane.  She doesn’t have time for anything but taking care of the loves of her life, Addison and Tyler, and working to pay down bills. But one date–and an incredibly hot kiss–with Dillon Sheenan wakes her up and makes her dream again.

Until she finds out Dillon’s already bought his ticket out of town…

Is Dillon about to break the heart of the only woman he’s ever loved?

 


The Taming of the Bachelor

by

Jane Porter

 

“It’s late,” Dillon growled, rising, grabbing the dishes and picking up plates and cups and carrying them to the kitchen.

One of the forks fell midway and she picked it up and followed him into the kitchen. “Just leave the dishes in the sink,” she said, “I’ll do them tomorrow.”

He did as she directed, then turned to face her. “What about you?” he asked, arms crossing over his chest. “What do you need?”

She wrinkled her nose as she counted off a list on her fingers. “New electrical and plumping…a furnace that works. Windows that seal. Floorboards that don’t creak. Not too bad, huh?”

His chest tightened. She was making light of her problems, but it couldn’t be easy. Her life hadn’t been easy. “That’s it?” he teased gently, admiring her more than ever. “That’s all you need? Fix those little things and your life will be a dream?”

“No, but the house would be sorted.”

Her smile never wavered but he saw a glimpse of exhaustion in her eyes and it made him want to protect her. Someone should protect her. “There’s nothing you want for you? Nothing you need?”

She moved past him, squeezing in to turn the water on in the sink, covering the dishes. “I don’t know…I don’t let myself go there.”

He didn’t move, so they were both at the sink, practically standing hip to hip. “Why not?”

She grabbed a scrubbing pad and attacked the dishes. “It’s better not to question. Better to stay focused.”

His brow furrowed as he watched her scour the dishes as if they were baking pans instead of simple dessert plates. “That makes you happy?”

Her slim shoulders twisted and her blonde head dipped, making it difficult to see her face. “It keeps me…focused.”

“Focused?”

“You know….to keep from losing…hope.” Her hands stilled, and for a moment the only sound was that of the running water, and then she drew a quick breath and turned the water off. “Or is it faith?” she added, frowning and reaching for a dishtowel to dry her hands. Her frown disappeared as she flashed a rueful smile. “To be honest, I’m not sure anymore.”

Dillon felt out of his depth here. He hadn’t grown up attending church regularly. His mom was Catholic, and she’d raised her oldest boys Catholic, but stopped going to church regularly when Dillon was in kindergarten. “Your faith was important to you?”

“It was once everything.”

“What happened to it?”

She draped the yellow striped towel on a bar, smoothing it. “Lewis died and I’ve just felt very….alone. Hard to see God in all the struggles.”

He didn’t know what to say. He wasn’t sure he was supposed to say anything.

Paige managed another small, wry smile. “So now I don’t ask for too much, or want too much. I count my blessings and stay busy, appreciating what I have, rather than thinking about what I don’t have.”

“This is why I’m such a fan,” he said quietly as he reached for her, his arm circling her, drawing her towards him. “You are strong and funny and sweet—”

“Stop there before you call me nice. Because I’m really not all that sweet, or nice.”

He smiled crookedly then carefully brushed her cheek with the back of his hand. Her skin felt so warm and soft. His fingers curled in. He stroked her cheekbone again.

Her lips parted and he felt the whoosh of air leaving her mouth as a caress against his neck, down his chest. She was so beautiful. Need throbbed in him, warring with common sense.

He should go. He needed to go. They were too alone here.

Far too much temptation.

“Should go,” he said, dropping his head, covering her lips with his.

It was a goodbye kiss. That’s really all it was. Goodbye, and closure. The end of a sentence…a chapter. He was closing this chapter, the one where Marietta was home, and Paige owned a piece of his heart. But now he was leaving—Montana, his family, the ranch, her—leaving all of it to start a new chapter.

The kiss was equal parts sweet and bittersweet, and he drew the kiss out, lingering over the sweet fullness of her lips, and the stunning heat of her mouth.

Her lips were softly parted when he lifted his head, her eyes wide, dark, bewildered.

“That was um…” She swallowed, blinked, trying to pull herself together. “Not bad.”

The corner of his mouth tugged. He brushed his knuckles across her lovely flushed cheek. He was hard and hungry but there was no way in the world he’d hurt her. Not when she’d been hurt so badly by others before him. “As long as you’re not disappointed.”

“Don’t think I’m disappointed…well, actually, I’m not sure.”

“No?”

“You might need to do that one more time. Just to know for certain.”

Amused, he drew her closer, her hips against his, his arms locking in the small of her back. “Sounds as if I didn’t get the job done right.”

She tipped her head back to better see him. “No, no. I wouldn’t say that. It’s probably just me. I’m out of practice.”

There were so many secrets in her eyes, secrets and shadows that made her expression mysterious, and yet vulnerable. She was both strong and soft, tough and tender, and maybe that’s what drew him to her—the fact that she was such a contradiction. How could you not admire her?

His head dipped and he kissed her again, drowning out the voices in his head that said he shouldn’t be doing this, that he shouldn’t care. He couldn’t get involved. He wasn’t good for her. He’d never be good for her, or her kids. They needed a father. He didn’t want to be a father. So simple. All of this was so simple.

Except when his mouth was on hers and his lips were parting hers, tasting her, and nothing felt more right, or natural, than her, in his arms.

~~~

For your convenience, here are some buy links:


 Ooooh, how yummy and romantic is that? Thank you, Jane!

And thanks for reading, my friends. I appreciate your interest, your comments and your shares on FaceBook.

We have some great snippets coming up.

See you next week.

Deb

 

 

FIRST KISS=TUESDAY (from His Blushing Bride, by Dani Collins)

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

DaniCollins-cover

Hello, wonderful Deb Salonen fans! I’m so excited to be visiting with you again!

The last time I was here, we had a great time reminiscing about our four-leaf clover searches as kids. This time I want to talk about childhood pets.

First, though, I should explain: All of my Montana Born stories can be read as stand-alones, but like all the Marietta stories, the characters overlap and are often friends and relations of previously published characters.

That’s why I’m giving away a print anthology of Montana Christmas to one lucky commenter. My hero in His Blushing Bride, Sebastian (Bastian) is the brother of Liz from Blame The Mistletoe, which is included in the Christmas anthology.

You’ll see that His Blushing Bride has a dog, Charlie. He’s a composite of all the goofy dogs I have met in my life, not a specific one that I know.

My husband and I are more cat-people and we’ve been horribly unimaginative with names: Tigger-bear, Charlotte, and Buddy. My sister had a dog named after the Maori war dance, “Haka,” which I’ve always thought was a great name for a pet.

To be entered into the draw, comment with the most colorful (or most boring) pet name you or someone you know has given an animal. Have you had a strange animal as a pet? Wanted a weird one? Please share what it was.

Wedding fever has hit the little town of Marietta…

Piper Tierney is busy wrapping up the school year and planning the music for Marietta’s Wedding Of The Century. She does not need one of her parents’ backpacking hippies under foot. Except the guy they let stay in their house is so much more than the California couch-surfer he resembles. Before she knows it, she’s making time to make time, even though he’s only in town for a couple of weeks.

Taking a break from working on his doctorate in political science, Sebastian Bloom wants to reassure himself his sister isn’t making another mistake with her upcoming wedding to a Marietta rancher. He’s definitely not looking for a bride for himself. Marriage and family are a trap. But Piper is cute, funny, and wants to move on from her ex.

They agree to a no strings affair, but will they wind up tying the knot?

Excerpt:

“Hey.” Bastian’s running shoes appeared in front of her bare feet. He was suddenly a huge wall of masculinity, right in front of her. Her pulse tripped, then galloped when he set a gentle finger under her chin and tilted her face to look up at him. “I think you’re hot as hell.”

She desperately wanted to believe him, but, “You’re just being nice.”

He choked out a short laugh. “I’m not that nice, Piper.”

Maybe not. “No, you’re a player. Aren’t you?” She was inexperienced, not stupid.

His gaze remained steady. “I like to consider myself a connoisseur. Which is why you should trust that I know what I’m talking about.”

Her turn to laugh. “An expert, huh? And you’re…what? Willing to fix me?”

“Why would I need to? There’s nothing wrong with you,” he countered.

“Oh,” she chuckled. “So smooth.” She shook her head in amazement, dislodging his touch. “Seriously, Bastian, I’m tempted. I really am. But I need the training-wheels version of you. Not this…” She indicated all the rippling muscle under tight control that belonged in fire fighter calendars. “There are other women in this town, you know. You don’t have to settle for me.”

His head went back as if she’d taken a swipe at him.

“See, that pisses me off,” he said, tone still casual, but several degrees cooler. “I’m not trying to get laid here. I like you. You turn me on. I think I could rock your world hard enough you wouldn’t give a crap what your old boyfriend ever said and I’m damned sure you could rock mine. If you’re not into that, say so. But don’t act like you’re not good enough for me because that’s something nobody can fix except you.”

She dropped back a step.

“Really,” she breathed. “I turn you on.” Her face was going hot, probably red as the Marietta fire engine. This conversation was killing her, making her chest feel tight, but she couldn’t break away from those piercing blue-green eyes.

“Have a look, sweetheart. I’m already hard and I haven’t even kissed you yet.”

Don’t.

She did.

His fly was decidedly bulged.

Her insides trembled and her bones went weak.

She flashed her gaze back up to his and found his eyelids had lowered so his stare was now a sexy, intent, lazily hungry message of desire. “I really want to kiss you, Piper.”

She swallowed. Her lips began to tingle with anticipation. “Okay,” she whispered.

He didn’t laugh. He stepped closer, so tall and wide he overwhelmed, but even though she nervously brought her hands up, she just rested them lightly on the hard plane of his chest. She started when his hands found her hips, fingers splaying with confidence. She twitched again with nerves when his head dipped and tilted.

Then his mouth brushed hers and she relaxed. Receptive.

His mouth opened, and she let her lips part. A low, gruff noise sounded in his throat and he settled more firmly into the kiss. His stubble lightly stimulated as he slowly rocked her mouth open under his until they were kissing. Then kissing deeply.

Passionately.

Her knees felt weak and her arms went around his neck to hold on. His arms closed across her back, pulling her tight into his solid frame. His thighs were almost too hard against hers, like leaning against steel, but all that firm, warm muscle felt good, too.

They broke away to switch sides and his hand moved to palm her butt. Delicious radiations of pleasure went into her middle and spiked between her legs, making her wriggle closer and rub against him, liking that he was aroused. His other hand started to climb up her waist, over her ribcage. Her breast felt hot and heavy and tight, aching with expectation—

He took a stumbling step into her, scaring her into squeaking out a cry of alarm. He caught her close to steady her as he tried to keep his footing and bit out, “Damn it, Charlie.”

The dog circled and tried to goose the two of them with his nose, making them break away to dodge and catch their balance. Piper brushed the dog away, using the moment to try to gather her composure. Good grief. The man did rock a woman’s world.

“Worst wingman on the continent,” Bastian grumbled, giving the dog a disgruntled scowl.

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon: US | Canada | UK  

Kobo | GooglePlay | iBooks | Smashwords


 

Award winning author Dani Collins wrote for twenty-five years before selling to Harlequin Mills & Boon in May of 2012. Since then, she’s turned in more than a dozen titles to Harlequin Presents and HarlequinE along with another four sexy, small-town novellas to Tule’s Montana Born. She has even found homes for some of her previously rejected manuscripts, including indie-publishing her single title romantic comedy, Hustled To The Altar and signing with a small press for her medieval fantasy, The Healer.

Dani doesn’t have any hobbies. She’s too busy writing. Look for Seduced Into The Greek’s World on shelves in June and His Blushing Bride from Montana Born on all digital platforms.

Stay current with Dani’s new releases by joining her newsletter or visiting her here: danicollins.com | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


Montana Born Brides Series

Book 1: The Fairy Tale Bride by Scarlet Wilson

Book 2: His Blushing Bride by Dani Collins

Book 3: Bride by Mistake by Nicole Helm

Book 4: Finally His Bride by Maisey Yates

Book 5: Kiss the Bride by Rachael Johns

Book 6: Two Nights with His Bride by Kat Latham

To be entered into the drawing, comment with the most colorful (or most boring) pet name you or someone you know has given an animal. Have you had a strange animal as a pet? Wanted a weird one? Please share what it was.

 

 

 

FIRST KISS=TUESDAY (from MONTANA COWGIRL by Debra Salonen)

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

kissing image

It’s me, again.

We had a little hiccup this week with scheduling, so I’m going to share a first kiss from my FIRST book in the Big Sky Mavericks series, which is now available on all platforms. I’m so excited to be able to share this big, heartfelt story with more readers. If you know anyone who favors Nook, Kobo, Google Play or iBooks, please forward this link. I’d appreciate it so much.

Everybody deserves a second chance, don’t they?

MontanaCowgirl-LARGEjpg

 

MONTANA COWGIRL

 

Paul watched four hours slip by as if it were minutes. A part of him couldn’t believe Bailey Jenkins–his Bailey Jenkins–was playing Marco Polo in his pool with his children.

At first glance, she looked the same as she had at eighteen, but that wasn’t quite true. Her body had matured. Her breasts filled out the demure, navy blue and white stripe two-piece–even if she could use a couple of pounds.

What changed the most about her wasn’t physical. This Bailey enjoyed playing with his kids. The old Bailey never had time for children. The teenage Bailey wouldn’t have asked Chloe and Mark clever, revealing questions…then listened, truly listened, when they answered.

Later, when they gathered around the stone fire pit for dessert, Mark asked the question he and Chloe had probably discussed at length. “What happened to your foot?”

The children had been skeptical when Bailey produced marshmallows, graham crackers and Hershey bars for dessert. It wasn’t that they’d never eaten s’mores, they simply couldn’t conceive of roasting marshmallow over glowing embers of broken glass.

“Car wreck. My foot got pinned under the front end of our truck. I was lucky.”

“What do you mean?”

“They had to use those big hydraulic Jaws of Life to get me out. I only had a concussion and a broken ankle.”

Only. Paul had work to keep from cringing.

“Were you driving?”

“No. I was in the passenger side.”

The tremor in her voice told him the memory still brought her pain. So, Paul cut off Mark before his morbid curiosity–typical of eight-year-old boys–asked for details about blood and missing body parts. “Where are the rest of the candy bars?”

“Mark,” Chloe cried. “You didn’t? Oh, my gosh, you are such a pig.”

His son’s lips were ringed by a suspicious brown outline, but Markie fervently denied the charge until Bailey hauled him onto her lap and ticked him until he confessed.

“Okay. Okay. I did it. I ate the last of the chocolate. So sue me.”

Bailey put him down. “Not necessary. A perfectly roasted marshy doesn’t need chocolate.”

She pushed a white square onto her skewer and leaned forward, resting her elbows on her knees. Her loose off-white cover-up slipped from one shoulder.

Paul had forgotten how lovely her natural skin tone was. How smooth and silky her skin felt when they were laying in the sun trying to get a deep brown tan. Fools.

A minute later, she lifted the golden treat to her lips and blew.

His groin reacted.

“Nothing beats a sticky, gooey marshmallow straight off the fire.” She pinched a hunk and pulled the bite upward, strings of glistening white sugar trailing behind. With a flourish, she spun the filaments onto the bite and lowered into her open mouth.

Chloe clapped and grabbed another marshmallow to try for herself.

Mark squinted at Paul. “What’s wrong, Dad? You look like you swallowed a marshmallow whole.”

Outed by an eight-year old. Damn.

Paul jumped to his feet, gathering the empty wrappers and used napkins. He carried the mess to a nearby trashcan then said, “Bath time, kiddos. Your mother gave me hel–heck last week for not making you wash your hair after swimming. She says it’s going to turn green.”

He made a mad scientist gesture that brought a grin to Bailey’s lips. Her sticky sweet lips. “Scoot, you two. I left bottles of anti-chlorine shampoo in each of your showers.”

Mark and Chloe took off with a minimal amount of grumbling. He could see they were worn out. The best part of owning a pool, in his opinion.

Bailey waited until both kids were gone before getting to her feet. She didn’t want to intrude on their nightly family rituals. She picked up the children’s half-empty water glasses and followed Paul into the kitchen, which had all the bells and whistles any TV chef might expect: granite countertops, polished chrome appliances, hardwood flooring and dark golden oak cabinets. The recessed lights in the ceiling turned the butter yellow walls a warm, inviting color.

“Your home is beautiful, Paul. Could be right off the pages of a decorating magazine, and yet it seems perfectly functional at the same time.” She pulled out one of the chrome stools tucked under the island and sat.

He wiped a spill on the gorgeous marble countertop before her elbow connected with it then tossed the rag into a big white apron-front sink.

Was it possible to have sink envy, she wondered?

She’d wasted so much time designing a dream kitchen to fit in Ross’s dream log cabin. A kitchen not unlike this one, with windows behind the sink overlooking the backyard.

“Jen spent more money on this room than the rest of the remodeling combined. I told her we wouldn’t be able to afford food to cook by the time she was done.” He carried the bag of leftover marshmallows to a walk-in pantry about the size of her mother’s guest room.

He returned a moment later, a liter-size green bottle of imported water in hand. She recognized the label but rarely splurged on the pricy brand.

“Although compared to the cost of our divorce, the kitchen was a real bargain,” Paul told, grabbing a couple of glasses from a cabinet with beveled glass panels.

His cynicism made her uncomfortable. Was she ready to talk exes?

Not really.

He unscrewed the cap with a powerful twist and poured two glasses of the fizzy water. “My new go-to drink, instead of beer. Chloe’s class stared a recycling campaign. When I loaded all the bags in the truck, it looked like a flaming alcoholic lived here.” He held out his glass. “Cheers.”

She touched the lip of her glass to his and looked into his eyes. Friendly, yes. Interested, too. The kind of interest a part of her desperately wanted to explore. Too bad the thinking part of her brain knew better than to start something she couldn’t finish. She hadn’t talked to OC yet. Could she trust him or not? Was she staying or going?

She took a sip of bubbly water then slipped off the stool. “Excuse me a minute. I’m going to try Mom’s phone again.”

Coward. She walked to the dining table where she’d left her purse hanging over the back of her chair.

She carried her phone outdoors and took a seat by the fire pit. The flame had been shut off but the night was warm enough without a fire.

She could understand the attraction of these one-click-to-start units, but they didn’t compare to the romance of a wood campfire like the one she and Paul made love beside that last summer. They’d lied to their parents and spent an entire weekend hiking, fishing and camping alone. They’d shared a single sleeping bag. She’d never experienced sex as pure and delicious–lust combined with the stamina and abandon of youth.

Her breasts tightened and her nipples puckered inside the cups of her mostly dry swimsuit. The still damp crotch of her bottoms felt unnaturally warm and moist.

She couldn’t remember the last time she had sex–aside from the occasional self-pleasure that usually left her a sobbing wreck.

“You need to get laid,” Maureen told Bailey at their last physical therapy session. “Sex is a great healer. So is forgiveness. Once you dump that heavy burden you’re carrying around, you’ll be able to run and ride again.”

Run? Maybe. She’d been walking a lot the past few days and her ankle felt much stronger. But, ride? She couldn’t picture it. Her riding days were over.

Before she could call up her mother’s cell phone number, Bailey’s phone rang. Mom’s image appeared on the screen.

Bailey sat on the chaise and crossed her legs. “Hi. Are you home?”

An awkward pause–as if someone fumbled the phone–made her sit up. “Mom?”

“No. It’s me,” OC said. “She’s asleep. They gave her something.”

They? Bailey’s pulse jumped.

“Luly has a lump on her side. I made her call the doctor. He saw her right away and sent us to Bozeman.”

“T…to the hospital?”

“Yeah. Took six hours to get a room. Can you believe that? The surgeon’s going to do something in the morning.”

“What time?”

“Nine. But you know how that goes.”

“Wh…what do they think it is? Cancer?” Her voice cracked in a broken whisper.

“Not sure. One of the doctors thought it might be some kind of infection. Endimidercondriac or something.”

“Endometriosis?”

“That sounds like it. Could be leftover from her gallbladder surgery.”

“Her gallbladder? But that was last year.” Bailey’s last trip home before Ross and Daz died.

“I know. I don’t get it. But, she says it doesn’t hurt.”

Oh, mom. Do you ever complain? “Do you need me to come pick you up?”

“No. The nurse made a bed for me on the couch. I got my pills. I’ll be fine. But I know your mother wants to see you before she goes in.”

“Of course. I’ll be there first thing. Text me if you need anything from home.”

“I…” He paused. “I’m sorry about today. You were right to think the worst. They say you have to hit rock bottom before you can start to climb out of the pit. I’m climbing, Queen Bee. And this time I’m gonna make it. You’ll see.”

He ended the call before she could get her emotions under control to reply. Did she dare hope? He’d made promises before. Did OC’s problems even matter now? Her mother–the glue that had been holding them all together– was sick, dealing with a potentially serious disease.

Dad isn’t the only one who has to step up.

She got to her feet and walked inside. Her expression must have conveyed her distress. Before she could say a word, Paul cleared the distance between them. “What’s wrong? Your dad?”

“Mom. She’s in the hospital in Bozeman. They’ve scheduled her for surgery in the morning. Some kind of l…lump.” She shared what little OC told her. “If it’s cancer, they’ll discuss a protocol. If it’s not–please, God–they’ll remove it and release her.”

“How big a lump?”

“I…I don’t know. She never told me. All this time. I can’t believe it. I don’t know whether to cry or scream.”

He took her in arms. “Whichever makes you feel better.”

She closed her eyes and for a moment she felt…home. Was this what it was like to know somebody had your back?

I could have had this. But she chose to leave. And she knew why. Because, bottom line, she was Bailey Jenkins, and Paul Zabrinski always deserved better.

That hadn’t changed.

She started to pull away, but Paul tightened his hold. “Don’t run away, cowgirl. Not tonight.”

“I have to leave early in the morning.”

“I know. I wish I could drive you, but…”

“You have the kids. And a business to run. A life. I appreciate all the help you’ve given me, Paul, but I’ve got this. Really, I do.”

He stared into her eyes a good minute then released his hold. “Okay. But call if you need me.”

“I will. Thank you.”

Then she leaned in to kiss his cheek. His cheek.

How her lips landed on his lips she couldn’t say for sure. And they didn’t mess around with a grateful peck. Her lips remembered…as if she and Paul had never been apart.

KINDLE

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And don’t forget, you can read Louise and OC’s love story for free…

BOGO-Big-Sky-Mavericks-300x251

Happy reading, my friends. 

 

Deb

FIRST KISS=TUESDAY (from THE BACHELOR’S BABY by Dani Collins)

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

kissing image

Dani Collins Headshot

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

I’m so excited Deb invited me to visit with you all today and share my first kiss from The Bachelor’s Baby. I suppose we can call it a Blarney Stone kiss because they certainly get lucky after!

 The Bachelor’s Baby is Book Three in Montana Born’s Bachelor Auction series. Fun Fact: It’s also Book Three in my own series for Montana Born. That’s why my giveaway includes a print copy of the Homecoming series. My first Montana Born novella, Hometown Hero was part of that series. (Blame The Mistletoe is second.)

 Another Fun Fact: My grandmother used to find four leaf clovers while she was gardening. I thought you had to spend hours on the lawn to find one—I never have—but my daughter inherited her talent times a million. She’s one of those people who wanders along for a minute or two then plucks one up with a casual, “Here’s one.”

 Have you ever found one? Did it bring you luck? Leave a comment telling me about your four-leaf clover experience to be entered for the giveaway draw.

Deb Salonen Blog Giveaway Prize


 

THE BACHELOR’S BABY

by Dani Collins

 

Your date with Bachelor #3 includes champagne and chocolate in the limo that collects you, a helicopter tour or Marietta and the surrounding mountains and valleys, and dinner at a five star restaurant in Great Falls. While oil baron Linc Brady wines and dines you, a maid service will completely clean your home.

Who could resist this tempting offer? Meg Canon plans to do just that. She’s only home to clean out her childhood bedroom for her brother’s new step-daughter, then she’s outta her childhood small town and back to her life in Chicago. Then she meets the sexy, renegade millionaire while she’s stuck in the snow. Sparks fly and Meg is tempted to stay a little longer.

Linc Brady is new in town and happy to help a kid in need, but a bachelor auction? Technically he doesn’t owe Meg a damned thing after she sets him up for the auction, then bids on him, but her high-class city polish is his fatal weakness and makes her impossible to forget. When she agrees to come home with him, he makes it clear he’s a confirmed bachelor. This is a one-night thing.

One night that turns into nine months and maybe…a lifetime?

COLLINS-TheBachelorsBaby-LARGE

 

He shifted to face her, leaning his wrist on her seatback so he edged into her space. “C’mere,” he invited.

“What.” A grin tugged at her mouth, but wicked, sexual reactions took her at the same time. Her nipples prickled and her breathing changed. “You want to kiss me?” She wanted him to. Rather badly.

“I do.”

“Is it a test?” She turned her head, aware of how close he was, how he smelled faintly of aftershave and clean Montana air.

“Little bit,” he murmured.

“Gonna leave me here if I don’t pass?” she challenged, trying to sound urbane when she actually felt girlish and shy.

His fingertips played gently against the ends of her hair, coaxing her to lean a fraction closer toward him. “I’m the one making the pass, sweetheart.”

He closed in. Warm male lips brushed hers, giving her a moment to savor the sensation of smooth, sensitive skin rubbing lightly against her own. Then he pressed with more purpose, enticed her into parting her lips and playing her mouth against his in delicious rubs as he gradually settled into the kiss. He stole over her so skillfully, she was caught and held before she realized how completely he owned her.

She thought—

Actually, there were no thoughts in her head. Just his scent and the warm dampness of his strong mouth exploring hers. The tip of his tongue briefly tagged her inner lip. Their breaths hissed quietly as their breathing changed. His cheek was smooth enough not to snag her knit gloves, making her want to pull them off so she could run her fingers into his hair.

She slanted her head, encouraging him to deepen the kiss. Pressing the back of his skull to encourage more pressure.

His free hand settled on the side of her neck, thumb stroking deliciously under her throat while he pulled at her bottom lip, his flagrant sucking making arousal bloom down her front, spiking her nipples into sharper peaks and spearing hot need between her thighs. Oh man did she want to go home with him.

And he was drawing back, making her primal core weep.

“What do you think?” he asked in a voice that was like a velvety summer breeze caressing her naked skin.

She made herself sit straight, breath unsteady and way too revealing of his effect on her. Her fingertips pressed her buzzing lips, trying to calm the rest of her.

“I didn’t realize it was that kind of test,” she said, voice papery.

“It’s not. Come over for a drink if you just want to throw off the shackles for a while. I wasn’t trying to see if you put out. But if we were going to fizzle, I figured here was a better place for it.”

Fizzle? She choked on a laugh, mildly horrified by that phrase ‘put out,’ and even more horrified by how disappointed she would be if he left her here instead of taking her to his place.

“Do you think we fizzled?”

“Ha! No,” he said firmly, making her tuck a grin into her collar.

It was gratifying and flattering, but…

“You do this a lot, don’t you?” she asked in a voice that came out smaller than she meant it to. “Pick up women, I mean.” Silence as he eased back into his own seat, then he sighed. “I’m not good at relationships, Meg. A lot of it was the nature of my job, but the truth is, I’ve never seen myself married with kids and the whole nine yards. But I like women and I like sex.” His jacket shifted as he shrugged and made himself more comfortable behind the wheel. “What do you want me to say? That I’ve never taken a woman home? You’d be the first here. Does that help?”

“I’ve never done it,” she said, then hurried to add, “I mean, I’ve had relationships. Just not, um, such a brief one.”

Somewhere along the way, maybe because she had friends that she respected who sometimes had one-night stands, she had developed a sense that they could be empowering. She didn’t feel embolded, though. She felt insecure. Longing gripped her, like she was wishing for something she would never get.

“That’s not the sort of first I’d like to be for a woman,” he said dryly. “Don’t change your values for me, Meg. Call me the next time you’re in town and we’ll do lunch in Great Falls.” He put the truck into drive.

“No, wait—” She covered his gloved hand with her own, could sense the strength in his firm grip of the stick. This evening couldn’t end with her packing and nursing What If. “I’m really attracted to you, Linc. I know I’ll regret it if I don’t go home with you.”

He studied her in the blue gloom off the dash for a long moment.

“Sure?”

“I am.”

He reversed back onto the road.

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Canadian Dani Collins spent twenty-five years dreaming of becoming a romance author, made her first sale in 2012, and promptly won a Reviewer’s Choice Award from Romantic Times. Best known for her Harlequin Presents, she has also published a romantic comedy, a medieval fantasy romance, two erotic romances and The Bachelor’s Baby is the third of four novellas for Montana Born. Married to her high school sweetheart, Dani has two mostly-grown children (one of each) and doesn’t have any hobbies. She’s too busy writing.

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HOW MUCH WAS HER BID? I DEMAND A RECOUNT! 😉  I’m off to buy…wait…already did!…I’m off to read this book!

Thanks for sharing, Dani! And thanks for the fabulous, free book prize, too. Dani will pick the winner on March 22nd. Good luck, everyone! Please share the love.

Deb